Fully funded Ph.D. Studentship in Computational Modelling and Machine Learning in Decision Neuroscience

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
8 Mar 2021
The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate, and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,285/year, and £900/year for three years as a research training support grant for three years.
3 years
Applications from the UK are invited for a fully funded 3-year Ph.D. studentship in Computational Modelling and Machine Learning in Decision Neuroscience at Ulster University, UK: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/find-a-phd/801216 This Ph.D. project aims to develop computational techniques and models to understand brain and behavioural data across primate species. Specifically, the project will apply techniques in computational neuroscience, particularly biologically based neural network modelling, to elucidate the mechanisms underlying perceptual decisions abstracted from movements. The project will also apply machine learning methods to analyse various types of neural and behavioural data. The Ph.D. project is part of an ambitious externally funded 5-year research project proposes to break new ground by integrating data from multimodal human and non-human primate neurophysiology with computational modelling to gain convergent insights into how and where abstract decision mechanisms take place in the human and monkey brain, and provide an unprecedented, detailed view on the brain’s decision making machinery. The international collaborators are Prof. Michael Shadlen at Columbia University (USA), Prof. Stephan Bickel at Northwell-Hofstra School of Medicine (USA), Prof. Redmond O'Connell at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), and Prof. Simon Kelly at University College Dublin (Ireland). Some relevant references: (i) O'Connell RG, Shadlen MN, Wong-Lin K, Kelly SP. Bridging Neural and Computational Viewpoints on Perceptual Decision-Making. Trends Neurosci. 2018;41(11):838?852. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2018.06.005 (ii) Atiya NAA, Rañó I, Prasad G, Wong-Lin K. A neural circuit model of decision uncertainty and change-of-mind. Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):2287. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-10316-8 (iii) O'Connell RG, Dockree PM, Kelly SP. A supramodal accumulation-to-bound signal that determines perceptual decisions in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2012;15(12):1729?1735. doi:10.1038/nn.3248 This timely and exciting project is available in the Computer Science Research Institute and is tenable in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Magee Campus. The successful Ph.D. candidate will benefit from the expertise of Ulster’s Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Machine Learning, and Computational Biology communities, and will interact closely with international experimental collaborators. The student will gain valuable skills and knowledge in computational and mathematical modelling, biological signal processing, machine learning, high-performance computing, mathematics/statistics, and brain sciences. All applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Statistics, Neuroscience, Biology, or a cognate area. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate’s qualifications, skills, experience, motivation and interests. Successful candidates will enrol as of 1st August 2021, on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The Ph.D. studentship will comprise fees together with an annual stipend and will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress. Additional financial support will be available from the supervisor's research funding for additional specialised training, research meeting and conference attendance, and computational resources. The successful student will be based at the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at Magee campus in Derry~Londonderry, with arguably the largest cluster of computational neuroscientists and neuro-inspired A.I researchers in Ireland. The city was awarded the 2013 UK City of Culture, with affordable living costs. In 2019, Ulster University was ranked 3rd in the UK for research culture and 8th in the UK for overall PhD researcher satisfaction. If you wish to discuss your proposal or receive advice on this project please contact: Dr. KongFatt Wong-Lin, email: k.wong-lin@ulster.ac.uk . Apply online: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/find-a-phd/801216 The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 8th March 2021. Interviews will be held on 25th March 2021, and the starting date is on 1st August 2021.

Further Information


Contact Details

Dr. KongFatt Wong-Lin

Intelligent Systems Research Centre
School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems
Ulster University, UK